As Sonoma Wine Country sets into the fall mood, the mornings have a crispness in the air but the days still turn warm. Summer warm. The leaves are just starting to turn, the grapes are being harvested, apples are still being picked, and picturesque fields are given over to pumpkins.
Family farms feature a variety of gourds for your autumnal mood and Halloween creations. You could find a kid fest, a down home farm experience, do a little wine tasting, and find the perfect pumpkins for your seasonal decor.
Most pumpkin patches are open through October. Check their websites for different September start dates.
Tolay Fall Festival, Petaluma
At this fun family event, you can take a hay ride to a giant pumpkin patch and explore a "creatures" barn full of snakes, spiders, and birds of prey. Seasonal activities include a straw maze, farm crafts like candle-dipping and wool-carding, and a pumpkin seed spitting contest. Stroll through a replica Native American village. Local vendors offer a fine selection of food and refreshments.
Oct. 14-15 and 21-22, 2017
11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Tolay Lake Regional Park
5869 Lakeville Highway, at the end of Cannon Lane
Burnt House Farm, Sebastopol
This small farm in rural Sebastopol has been in operation for over 100 years. Pick up some farm fresh goods and, in the fall, pick out a pumpkin and pick your own apples! Give them a call and stop by.
Open by appointment.
11887 Occidental Road
Eastside Seasonal Farm and Pumpkin Patch, Santa Rosa
Have fun picking pumpkins, winding through the corn maze (even bigger this year!), petting goats and ducks, and playing games at this family farm located between Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park. They will be opening on Saturday, Sept. 23.
Check their website for prices and times of operation: www.eastsideseasonalfarm.com.
5834 Petaluma Hill Road
First Light Farm and Pumpkin Patch, Petaluma
One of the only certified organic pumpkin patches in Northern California, First Light Farm offers a traditional U-pick pumpkin patch and corn maze. Pick up some of their great organic produce at the Farm Store.
Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
4588 Bodega Avenue
Grandma's Pumpkin Patch, Healdsburg
Lots of fun can be found at this family farm. Stroll through the pumpkins, pet farm animals, climb the hay stacks, run through the maze, and check out vintage tractors. Take along lunch and linger at one of the shaded picnic tables. Opening on Sept. 30, 2017.
Open daily from 9 a.m. until dusk
17740 Healdsburg Avenue
McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch, Petaluma
Each fall, this family dairy farm offers a big selection of pumpkins along with tractor rides, a petting farm, a hay maze, a haunted house, a pumpkin blaster, and a lot more. Lunch and snacks can be purchased and farm tours are available. Admission and most activities are free, but some activities have a charge. Wristbands available for unlimited access. Don't miss the Haunted Forest! Open Fridays and Saturdays from dusk until 9:30 p.m.
Opens Sept. 23
Friday, 1 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
6475 Bodega Avenue
Muelrath Ranches, Santa Rosa
This pumpkin farm offers lots of fun, with a corn maze, hay pyramid, tractors to sit on, pumpkin cannon, and sustainably grown pumpkins and gourds. Take a picnic and enjoy the season. On Friday and Saturday nights through October, join in the fun of the "Campfire in the Corral" and roast hot dogs and marshmallows, sip hot cider, and take a night time hay ride. (Admission for "Campfire in the Corral" is $12, children 3 and under are free. Call ahead for reservations.) Admission to the patch is FREE. Opens Sept. 30, 2017.
Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
PaPa's Pumpkin Patch, Sebastopol
Pick your pumpkin straight from the vine at this family run patch. You'll find seven varieties in a pretty setting beneath the redwoods. Taste fresh apple juice from next door's Ratzlaff Ranch and even stop by there to pick your own apples.
Open Sept. 10 through Oct. 21, daily from 12 p.m. - 7 p.m.
13110 Occidental Road
More than five acres of home-grown pumpkins, squash, and gourds present a huge selection to pick your own variety. Have fun with seasonal activities like the huge straw mountain and corn kernel sand box. Try to find the single exit out of the four-acre corn maze - it can take 45 minutes to complete! On Fridays and Saturdays, take a flashlight to try the maze at night. This year, they have added second story viewing platforms inside the corn maze. Opens September 29, 2017. Admission and parking are free.
Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
450 Stony Point Road
Peter Pumpkin Patch, Petaluma
At this rural working dairy and farm, you'll find all kinds of varieties of pumpkins, baby animals, farm activities, hay rides, and a hay maze. Spring Hill makes wonderful cheeses you can taste and their homemade ice cream will also be available. Open from Oct. 1, 2017
Open daily from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
4235 Spring Hill Road
Preston Organic Farm and Winery, Healdsburg
Each October, the pumpkins are ready for you to pick at Preston Winery in Dry Creek Valley. Take a picnic, taste some wine, and browse the other delicious farm goods on offer. The setting is just right for a few, groups more than eight are not permitted.
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
9282 West Dry Creek Road
Pronzini Pumpkin Patch, Petaluma
A variety of pumpkins and corn are growing at Pronzini's, for all ages to enjoy acres of fun this fall. Families can enjoy hay rides, bouncy houses and slides, a petting zoo, corn kernel box, and the Haunted Trail.
Check their website for timings.
3795 Adobe Road
Punky's Pumpkin Patch, Santa Rosa
Families can enjoy fun activities and choose from a generous selection of pumpkins, squash, and heirloom winter squash - grown by the Gutzman Family. This pumpkin patch is located at Santa Rosa's Luther Burbank Center.
Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
50 Mark West Springs Road
The Santa Rosa Patch, Santa Rosa
This family run pumpkin patch has eight acres of pumpkins and a huge corn maze with short or long routes to follow. There are lots of activities here, including a huge jumpy pillow, inflatable slide and bounce house, petting farm, hay rides, pumpkin blasters. There is a charge for admission and various wristbands are for sale for enjoying all that’s on offer. Special guests like Moana and Spiderman will be making appearances on the weekends. Opening Friday, Sept. 29, 2017
Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8: p.m.
5157 Stony Point Road
Find more info about things to do in Sonoma County.
Written by Sonoma Insider Jennifer Jones.